Hospital Malpractice Lawyer Salt Lake City, Utah
Failing to correctly diagnose cancer does not always result in winning a medical malpractice case. There are several conditions that need to be met in order to find your physician liable for causing suffering to a patient who was misdiagnosed.
Did the Physician Fail to Follow the Professional Standard of Care?
A physician’s professional standard of care means that the doctors acted in a manner that a doctor with the same qualifications would do in the same set of circumstances. When presenting a medical malpractice case for misdiagnosis in court, the plaintiff must obtain testimony from an expert witness testifying as to what a reasonable physician would have done given the same situation.
Some cancers are really hard to diagnose, and sometimes a cyst can be overlooked and then found to be cancerous. Other times a cyst can be misdiagnosed as cancer. A misdiagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean that the doctor did not abide by the professional standard of care. Errors are made, however, mistakes that breach the professional standard of care can be considered medical malpractice.
Could the Impact of the Misdiagnosis be Avoided?
You have to be able to prove that your suffering would have been avoided had the doctor made the correct diagnosis. This can be difficult when diagnosing or misdiagnosing cancer because regardless of the diagnosis the outcome may have statistically the same had the doctor made the correct diagnosis.
This becomes truer for cancers that have a higher rate of fatality. If the patient had a 50/50 chance of survival with or without the diagnosis and treatment, the physician will not be guilty of medical malpractice or breach of professional care standards. The cause of death would not be a result of the misdiagnosis.
The family of the plaintiff or the plaintiff could say that the quality of life was diminished or that because treatment was delayed the patient’s life was shortened. Some states will allow this type of defense if the patient is alive and award damages if the patient was diagnosed to have had cancer and did not, the stress and anxiety connected with a cancer diagnosis may be enough to justify the compensation.
Every Case is Different
The ‘what ifs’ run rampant in these types of cases and while you may have a successful outcome to your medical malpractice suit for misdiagnosis of cancer, depending on your case, the judge could rule in the defendant’s favor just as easily. Predicting the outcome of someone’s life, with or without cancer, can be purely speculative. The plaintiff will have to present medical proof that is pretty convincing to the judge to win the case. On the other hand, advances in the treatment of cancer have increased survival rates in many types of cancers, so many cases of medical malpractice presented to the courts can be backed up with medical advances and cancer success rates.
Seek out the services of an experienced hospital malpractice lawyer Salt Lake City, Utah trusts at Rasmussen & Miner, one with knowledge of cancer misdiagnosis cases. Their expertise can mean the difference between the success and failure of your case.